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Old 7th May 2012, 12:25 PM   #1
phildonnia
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Is ID belief a deal-killer in a politician?

If would-be Senator Joe Jingo mentions his disbelief in Evolution on the campaign stump, it would be because he expects it to be relevant to your vote: either reflecting on his character, his religion, his style of cogitation, or the policies that he intends to pursue. But what does it actually mean, especially to a rational or science-respecting voter? Can it be overlooked if you favor the candidate's other qualities?

Suppose that Joe knows the basic high-school biology, has read and carefully considered all the arguments on talk-origins, and has concluded in the end that Evolution is bunk. This would be irrational, I think, but not necessarily anti-rational. That is, he might still respect rational argument and scientific principles of knowledge while having incorrectly applied them in this case.

In your mind how would Joe compare with the incumbent Joanne, who proudly proclaims her belief in Evolution for some fallacious reason -- its popularity, for example?
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by phildonnia View Post
In your mind how would Joe compare with the incumbent Joanne, who proudly proclaims her belief in Evolution for some fallacious reason -- its popularity, for example?
I wouldn't be bothered by their personal beliefs, its their policies that I would vote for them on,

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Old 7th May 2012, 01:12 PM   #3
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With very, very few exceptions, a belief in ID is religion based. It kinda has to be because its alternate theory is "goddit." Some ID arguments step lightly around the word "god," but it all comes down to a creator. I would be very wary of a candidate who was religion first. So far, in the US, this does not bode well. Although it is possible that a religious Socialist candidate might use the life of Jesus as inspiration for reform. (See: origins of "WWJD?") In that case, so long as he was not trying to remove evolution from the classroom, his personal views would have less merit than his other platforms.

If this was the US, Joanne would probably not mention evolution at all for fear of alienating a portion of voters.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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In the US, I would not vote for someone who professed to believe ID.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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I wouldn't vote for someone claiming to believe in "intelligent design" because it's a disingenuous position intended to get around prohibitions against mixing religion with public school.

I'd be more inclined to vote for someone who honestly embraces a creator and denies evolution - assuming, of course, that I don't believe they'll push that agenda using public money, use such a belief as a litmus test for appointments, etc.
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Almo View Post
In the US, I would not vote for someone who professed to believe ID.
who did you vote for when Dubya was running ?
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Where I'm from, a politician who believed in ID would be ridiculed. The very thought is preposterous.
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:03 PM   #9
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Any anti-science rubbish would be an absolute deal breaker for me. If I was torn between a new age nut/creationist or a member of UKIP or (heaven forbid) the BNP, I'd stand myself.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:06 PM   #10
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It's not a good metric to judge a politician by. Since politics is the art of compromise, it would depend on how well he/she presented their belief and shaped it into a form palatable to me. I want them for their skill at selling me on ideas I don't care for. Arguably, I'd vote for them if they didn't seem to be a jerk about it.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:11 PM   #11
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Purely as my (non-American) bias, I would expect any US politician on the right to openly support the teaching of creationism as "an alternative", if not state an outright belief in it. I'd also expect that they were probably lying to get votes.

That last part is perhaps more hope than expectation, these days.

If I were a US voter on the right, I'd probably ignore it with that hope in mind, thinking that they might just do nothing about it in office.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
Where I'm from, a politician who believed in ID would be ridiculed. The very thought is preposterous.
Precisely the reaction we would expect from godless commie foreigners like you. (Insert your favorite smiley here.)
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by phildonnia View Post
If would-be Senator Joe Jingo mentions his disbelief in Evolution on the campaign stump, it would be because he expects it to be relevant to your vote: either reflecting on his character, his religion, his style of cogitation, or the policies that he intends to pursue. But what does it actually mean, especially to a rational or science-respecting voter? Can it be overlooked if you favor the candidate's other qualities?
I wouldn't hire would-be Senator Joe Jingo to unplug my stopped up bathroom fixure if he mentions his disbelief in evolution in the job interview. His mention of it says to me that his personal agenda takes precedence over my need to have him to take care of floating doo-doo balls - the literal ones in my bathroom or the figurative ones in the Senate. It also says to me that he isn't compentent to recognize a FDDB when he sees one.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:33 PM   #14
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It should be a deal breaker, for sure. Idiots should not be elected officials.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:38 PM   #15
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I don't vote for individuals in a vacuum, I vote for the best among my options.

That said, there are two things I look for from a politician.
1) Holds policy positions I agree with in the areas they are likely to govern on.
2) Is able to evaluate rationally all those positions beyond those I know about.

If someone truly was exposed to the evidence and still felt that ID was valid, it seems to me that the only way they could fulfill my second condition would be if their ID position was entirely a fluke and they brought skills to any other question that they lacked in that evaluation.

A more likely explanation than a random fluke would be that they have religious views that put blinders on their ability to reason on certain topics. And since many topics I happen to care about legislatively are ones religion have an opinion on, I would have a hard time trusting them to be free of blinders when it counts.

However, as mentioned above, it's a vote from a selection, and likely all candidates have serious flaws. Is ID belief worse than others?

If a candidate condemned the patriot act, warrantless wiretapping, drone assasinations affirmed the right to freedom of choice, condemned the uber-partisan rhetoric of both sides and held about a dozen other positions I value, then I'd say a belief in ID was something I could ignore.

Even beyond that, I think it matters what they might reasonably accomplish. I'm a democrat and far from a libertarian, but there was a point (perhaps mostly in fantasy daydream) where I felt that Ron Paul could be a good president. Not because I agreed with him on more than with other candidates, but because the topics where I find his positions ******* insane are things that no congress would ever let him do.

Essentially, I'd hire a babysitter who was constantly talking about burning down my house if she was otherwise good with the kids and I was dead certain she couldn't get access to matches. (or a lighter or whatever. Don't take the metaphor too far)
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:25 PM   #16
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You know, I don't think a guy who believes ID but is otherwise a good candidate doesn't exist. There's always a religous agenda driving every single one of thier policies because if you believe something that stupid you can't possible have an informed opinion on anything else.

I'd like to see an example of someone who pushes ID who isn't basing the rest of their policies on religion.
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
You know, I don't think a guy who believes ID but is otherwise a good candidate doesn't exist. There's always a religous agenda driving every single one of thier policies because if you believe something that stupid you can't possible have an informed opinion on anything else.

I'd like to see an example of someone who pushes ID who isn't basing the rest of their policies on religion.
But basing his policies on religion wouldn't necessarily put him at odds with me. We might both agree we need a new highway interchange, even though I won't be thanking God when we get it.
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:49 PM   #18
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Depends on what you want the politiker to do. Most of what politikers do has nothing to do with the origin of life on earth.

I suppose the beginning of life on earth could be blamed for many of their activities, but that might be going back a bit too far.
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
Where I'm from, a politician who believed in ID would be ridiculed. The very thought is preposterous.
I wanted to say this... then I remembered our conservative prime minister appointed a creationist as minister of science and technology.
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Old 8th May 2012, 01:07 AM   #20
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It would be a sign for me that a candidate is either ignorant of science or has a poor understanding of the subject. I wouldn't vote for such a person.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:30 AM   #21
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If it were a Democratic candidate for POTUS, I would have to find out what other superstitions he entertained. He might also believe in somethign so absurd as piddle-down ecconomics, or that the USA was a Chrisitian nation at its founding, or that black people were not created equal to whites.

That would be scarey, and I would hope that the Greens would have a reasonably good candidate with a chance of winning.

I totally would not want to have to vote for such a whackjob.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:45 AM   #22
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I couldn't vote for anyone that believes that crap, but it's very unlikely that any UK politician believes in ID or would be stupid enough to admit it.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Multivac View Post
I couldn't vote for anyone that believes that crap, but it's very unlikely that any UK politician believes in ID or would be stupid enough to admit it.
oh, would that it were so:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_S...(UK_politician)
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Old 8th May 2012, 04:17 AM   #24
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If a candidate believes in ID, then he believes in God. If he believes in God, then he is probably overtly religious. If he is religious, then he is probably of one of the religions that requires an adhearance to nonsense - such as making the teachings of God more important than the laws of the state when they contradict.

So yes, a belief in ID is a deal breaker for me. Just too risky.
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Old 8th May 2012, 06:09 AM   #25
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ID doesn't come without a load of anti-science baggage and belief in a load of other nonsense. Forget that. I will never, ever vote for that person.
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Old 8th May 2012, 06:14 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Lamuella View Post
He's from Norn Iron. They seem to get a lot of religious whackjobs elected there.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:01 AM   #27
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My problem with a politician who claims that evolution doesn't exist is that he or she is holding that position in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I cannot trust someone to make rational decisions who cares more about clinging to an irrational belief than being right; it's as simple as that.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:32 AM   #28
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Unfortunately, there are no perfect candidates. So people have to pick the subject and issues important to you.

I hated that Bush put political appointees in charge of science, ranging from the National Park Service http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801 to falling behind in Stem Cell research.

So yes, belief in ID, since it has been proven to be creationism, for me would be a deal breaker, and wouldn't get my vote.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:38 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
who did you vote for when Dubya was running ?
Clinton did not, that I can find, profess to believe in ID. The only thing I can find he said about it is this: "I believe in God and know what they mean about intelligent design, but looking at those debates I had to wonder." That's a very non-comittal answer, even if he does believe in ID.

Even if you CAN dig up something that shows he believed it, he did not make a big deal of it.
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:43 AM   #30
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I would not necessarily like a politician who showed believe in ID, but whether I would vote for them depends on several factors:

- Their policies, and the policies of their opponents. (Other people have made similar statements here)... Yeah, I wouldn't like voting for someone who things "god did it", but if the alternative is to vote for someone who wants to something even more bizarre, either in terms of anti-science woo (hey, lets make homeopathy funded by the government!) or in general policy (bad economic/environmental/social/defence policy) then I'd begrudgingly vote for the ID believer

- The position they're being voted into. Lets face it, there are a lot of areas where a belief in ID would have no effect on public policy. So, I might not vote for an ID believer if they were running for a position on the local school board, but if they were running for some economic position their ID beliefs wouldn't matter

- Why and Just how strongly a person professes their belief in ID. Sadly, a lot of people might not get much exposure to science in their lives, and even less in "critical thinking". Maybe they took science in high school, but in the decades since then they've been primarily concerned with economics, etc., in which case their belief in ID is kind of a fall back to something they just haven't given any thought to. I could criticize them if they spent all their time reading anti-science nonsense like "answers in genesis", since those people are supposedly trying to learn "science" but are failing miserably, but if they spend all their time reading economic or legal books they just might not have bothered looking into evolution vs. ID.

This very issue came up in recent Canadian federal elections. The conservatives were criticized (rightly, to a point) because our minister of science (an admitted christian) refused to answer a question about Evolution in an interview. (He later made a statement that yes indeed he does believe in Evolution, but not everyone was happy with his statement.)

While I don't like who was appointed Minister of Science, I still supported the conservatives because:
- I preferred their economic and defense policies
- Even though he's "minister of science", there are limits about how much his beliefs could influence public policy. Some elements are actually controlled by the provinces (e.g. education), while bureaucrats handle a lot of the other work.
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Old 8th May 2012, 10:11 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Almo View Post
In the US, I would not vote for someone who professed to believe ID.
So neither Obama nor Romney then?
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Old 8th May 2012, 10:23 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Sword_Of_Truth View Post
So neither Obama nor Romney then?
Feel free to show evidence that Obama is an ID'er.
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Old 8th May 2012, 10:24 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Sword_Of_Truth View Post
So neither Obama nor Romney then?
Obama? Do you have a source?

Originally Posted by Dallas Morning News
source "I'm a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there's a difference between science and faith. That doesn't make faith any less important than science. It just means they're two different things. And I think it's a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don't hold up to scientific inquiry."
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Old 8th May 2012, 10:37 PM   #34
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When I vote, I'm voting for someone to go and vote on my behalf, not for someone who I personally like. I understand that not everyone out there is going to share my exact belief system, but that's not what I'd expect. What I expect from someone who's representing me is that they're capable of looking at evidence, weighing that evidence logically, and voting where the evidence actually leads. In the case of ID believers, they're showing that regardless of where the evidence leads, they're going where their preconceived beliefs tell them to, and the biggest concession they're willing to do is to PRETEND that their beliefs are a sort of science. Not only is that stupid, but it's dishonest. I'm an idealist enough to wish for an honest politician, and a realist enough to know that politicians lie to get elected, so I can excuse a bit of that, but I can not excuse stupidity and I will not vote for someone who proudly displays their stupidity.
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Old 9th May 2012, 01:45 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Feel free to show evidence that Obama is an ID'er.
I would, but RandFan beat me to it.
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Old 9th May 2012, 07:25 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Andrew Wiggin View Post
What I expect from someone who's representing me is that they're capable of looking at evidence, weighing that evidence logically, and voting where the evidence actually leads. In the case of ID believers, they're showing that regardless of where the evidence leads, they're going where their preconceived beliefs tell them to, and the biggest concession they're willing to do is to PRETEND that their beliefs are a sort of science.
As I mentioned before:

Keep in mind that not everyone who believes in ID has actually looked at the evidence.

There is a difference between (for example) Michael Behe, a "scientist" who should be qualified to understand evolution, yet clings to (and strongly advocates) Intelligent Design, and some random politician who's entire scientific background consists of some course he took in high school, and who doesn't have the background knowledge (or interest) to delve more into the subject of evolution.

In other words, there is a difference between ignorance (i.e. I support ID because I'm not a science expert and haven't heard better) and willful ignorance (i.e. I support ID because I like to lie).
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Old 9th May 2012, 11:52 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Sword_Of_Truth View Post
I would, but RandFan beat me to it.
Right..evidence that Obama is NOT and ID'er. Belief in a god doesn't mean one is an ID proponent.
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Old 9th May 2012, 11:56 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Sword_Of_Truth View Post
I would, but RandFan beat me to it.
How is "I believe in evolution" proof that Obama believes in ID? Not sure if you are being dishonest or cute (perhaps both)?

Look, I don't want to be unfair to you. Perhaps I'm missing something. If so then I apologize. But being obtuse is in essence dishonest. If you have something to back up your claim please to provide that? As it is your claim is false.
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Old 9th May 2012, 03:15 PM   #39
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I think what SOT is saying is that neither Obama nor Romney are IDiots.
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Old 9th May 2012, 03:28 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
I think what SOT is saying is that neither Obama nor Romney are IDiots.
Actually I think I've been down this road before on this forum. You may be right in which I sincerely apologize to SOT.
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